Somerset House is in Strand.
Diary of Henry Machyn February 1558. 25 Feb 1558. The xxv day of Feybruary cam rydyng to London my lade Elsabeth (24) the quen('s) (42) syster, with a gret compene of lordes and nobull men and nobull women, to here plasse calyd the Somersettplasse beyond Stron-bryge.
Diary of Henry Machyn December 1558. 05 Dec 1558. The v day here Grace (25) removyd by water undur the bryge unto Somersett plase, with trumpetes playng, and melody and joye and comfortt to all truw Englys-men and women, and to all pepulle.
Diary of Henry Machyn November 1562. 08 Nov 1562. The viij day of November the Quen('s) (29) grace removyd from Hamtun cowrt toward London, and be-twyn iij and [iiij o'clock] cam by Charyng-crosse, and so rod unto Some[rset plac]e with mony nobull men and women, and with har[olds of a]rmes in ther cotte armurs; and my lord Thomas [Howard bare] the sword a-for the quen to Somersett plase, and the [Queen will abide] ther tyll Criustynmas, and then to Whyt-halle.
On 23 Jul 1596 Henry Carey 1st Baron Hunsdon 1526-1596 (70) died at Somerset House. Queen Elizabeth I of England and Ireland (62) was present. She, apparently, proposed he be made Earl Wiltshire. He refused saying ... "Madam, as you did not count me worthy of this honour in life, then I shall account myself not worthy of it in death". George Carey 2nd Baron Hunsdon 1547-1603 (49) succeeded 2nd Baron Hunsdon 1C 1559. Elizabeth Spencer Baroness Hunsdon Baroness Eure 1552-1618 (44) by marriage Baroness Hunsdon.
On 18 Aug 1604 the Treaty of London was signed concluding the nineteen-year Anglo-Spanish War. The treaty restored the 'Status quo' between the two nations. The negotiations probably took place at Somerset House in Westminster and are sometimes known as the Somerset House Conference.
On 03 Feb 1614 Robert Ker 1st Earl Roxburghe 1570-1650 (44) and Jean Drummond Countess Roxburghe 1585-1643 (29) were married at Somerset House. She, Jean, was the sister of his son-in-law John Drummond 2nd Earl Perth 1588-1662 (26) who had married his daughter Jean Ker Countess Perth. The wedding was attended by the King (47) and Queen (39). There was a masque Hymen's Triumph written by Samuel Daniel.
John Evelyn's Diary 06 March 1652. 06 Mar 1652. Saw the magnificent funeral of that arch-rebel, Ireton (41), carried in pomp from Somerset House to Westminster, accompanied with divers regiments of soldiers, horse and foot; then marched the mourners, General Cromwell (52) (his father-in-law), his mock-parliament-men, officers, and forty poor men in gowns, three led horses in housings of black cloth, two led in black velvet, and his charging horse, all covered over with embroidery and gold, on crimson velvet; then the guidons, ensigns, four heralds, carrying the arms of the State (as they called it), namely, the red cross and Ireland, with the casque, wreath, sword, spurs, etc.; next, a chariot canopied of black velvet, and six horses, in which was the corpse; the pall held up by the mourners on foot; the mace and sword, with other marks of his charge in Ireland (where he died of the plague), carried before in black scarfs. Thus, in a grave pace, drums covered with cloth, soldiers reversing their arms, they proceeded through the streets in a very solemn manner. This Ireton was a stout rebel, and had been very bloody to the King's (21) party, witness his severity at Colchester, when in cold blood he put to death those gallant gentlemen, Sir Charles Lucas (39) and Sir George Lisle. My cousin, R. Fanshawe (43), came to visit me, and informed me of many considerable affairs. Sir Henry Herbert (57) presented me with his brother, my Lord Cherbury's book, "De Veritate"..
John Evelyn's Diary 22 October 1658. 22 Oct 1658. Saw the superb funeral of the protector (59). He was carried from Somerset House in a velvet bed of state, drawn by six horses, housed with the same; the pall held by his new lords; Oliver lying in effigy, in royal robes, and crowned with a crown, sceptre, and globe, like a king. The pendants and guidons were carried by the officers of the army; the imperial banners, achievements, etc., by the heralds in their coats; a rich caparisoned horse, embroidered all over with gold; a knight of honor, armed cap-a-pie, and, after all, his guards, soldiers, and innumerable mourners. In this equipage, they proceeded to Westminster: but it was the most joyful funeral I ever saw; for there were none that cried but dogs, which the soldiers hooted away with a barbarous noise, drinking and taking tobacco in the streets as they went.
I returned not home till the 17th of November.
I was summoned again to London by the commissioners for new foundations to be erected within such a distance of London.
Diary of Samuel Pepys 02 February 1660. 02 Feb 1660. Thursday. Drank at Harper's with Doling, and so to my office, where I found all the officers of the regiments in town, waiting to receive money that their soldiers might go out of town, and what was in the Exchequer they had. At noon after dining at home I called at Harper's for Doling, and he and I met with Luellin and drank with him at the Exchequer at Charing Cross, and thence he and I went to the Temple to Mr. Calthrop's (36) chamber, and from thence had his man by water to London Bridge to Mr. Calthrop, a grocer, and received £60 for my Lord. In our way we talked with our waterman, White, who told us how the watermen had lately been abused by some that had a desire to get in to be watermen to the State, and had lately presented an address of nine or ten thousand hands to stand by this Parliament, when it was only told them that it was to a petition against hackney coaches; and that to-day they had put out another to undeceive the world and to clear themselves, and that among the rest Cropp, my waterman and one of great practice, was one that did cheat them thus. After I had received the money we went to the Bridge Tavern and drank a quart of wine and so back by water, landing Mr. Calthrop's man at the Temple and we went homewards, but over against Somerset House, hearing the noise of guns, we landed and found the Strand full of soldiers. So I took my money and went to Mrs. Johnson, my Lord's sempstress, and giving her my money to lay up, Doling and I went up stairs to a window, and looked out and see the foot face the horse and beat them back, and stood bawling and calling in the street for a free Parliament and money. By and by a drum was heard to beat a march coming towards them, and they got all ready again and faced them, and they proved to be of the same mind with them; and so they made a great deal of joy to see one another. After all this, I took my money, and went home on foot and laying up my money, and changing my stockings and shoes, I this day having left off my great skirt suit, and put on my white suit with silver lace coat, and went over to Harper's, where I met with W. Simons, Doling, Luellin and three merchants, one of which had occasion to use a porter, so they sent for one, and James the soldier came, who told us how they had been all day and night upon their guard at St. James's, and that through the whole town they did resolve to stand to what they had began, and that to-morrow he did believe they would go into the City, and be received there. After all this we went to a sport called, selling of a horse for a dish of eggs and herrings, and sat talking there till almost twelve o'clock and then parted, they were to go as far as Aldgate. Home and to bed.
Diary of Samuel Pepys 18 February 1660. 18 Feb 1660. Saturday. A great while at my vial and voice, learning to sing "Fly boy, fly boy", without book. So to my office, where little to do. In the Hall I met with Mr. Eglin and one Looker, a famous gardener, servant to my Lord Salsbury (68), and among other things the gardener told a strange passage in good earnest.... Home to dinner, and then went to my Lord's lodgings to my turret there and took away most of my books, and sent them home by my maid. Thither came Capt. Holland to me who took me to the Half Moon tavern and Mr. Southorne, Blackburne's clerk. Thence he took me to the Mitre in Fleet Street, where we heard (in a room over the music room) very plainly through the ceiling. Here we parted and I to Mr. Wotton's, and with him to an alehouse and drank while he told me a great many stories of comedies that he had formerly seen acted, and the names of the principal actors, and gave me a very good account of it. Thence to Whitehall, where I met with Luellin and in the clerk's chamber wrote a letter to my Lord. So home and to bed. This day two soldiers were hanged in the Strand for their late mutiny at Somerset-house.
Diary of Samuel Pepys 10 June 1661. 10 Jun 1661. Early to my Lord's, who privately told me how the King had made him Embassador in the bringing over the Queen (22)1. That he is to go to Algier, &c., to settle the business, and to put the fleet in order there; and so to come back to Lisbone with three ships, and there to meet the fleet that is to follow him. He sent for me, to tell me that he do intrust me with the seeing of all things done in his absence as to this great preparation, as I shall receive orders from my Lord Chancellor (52) and Mr. Edward Montagu. At all which my heart is above measure glad; for my Lord's honour, and some profit to myself, I hope.
By and by, out with Mr. Shepley Walden, Parliament-man for Huntingdon, Rolt, Mackworth, and Alderman Backwell (43), to a house hard by, to drink Lambeth ale. So I back to the Wardrobe, and there found my Lord going to Trinity House, this being the solemn day of choosing Master, and my Lord is chosen, so he dines there to-day. I staid and dined with my Lady; but after we were set, comes in some persons of condition, and so the children and I rose and dined by ourselves, all the children and I, and were very merry and they mighty fond of me.
Then to the office, and there sat awhile. So home and at night to bed, where we lay in Sir R. Slingsby's (50) lodgings in the dining room there in one green bed, my house being now in its last work of painting and whiting.
Note 1. Katherine of Braganza (22), daughter of John IV. of Portugal (57), born 1638, married to Charles II, May 21st, 1662. After the death of the king she lived for some time at Somerset House, and then returned to Portugal, of which country she became Regent in 1704 on the retirement of her brother Don Pedro. She died December 31st, 1705.
Diary of Samuel Pepys 18 June 1662. 18 Jun 1662. Up early; and after reading a little in Cicero, I made me ready and to my office, where all the morning very busy.
At noon Mr. Creed came to me about business, and he and I walked as far as Lincoln's Inn Fields together. After a turn or two in the walks we parted, and I to my Lord Crew's and dined with him; where I hear the courage of Sir H. Vane (49) at his death is talked on every where as a miracle.
Thence to Somerset House to Sir J. Winter's chamber by appointment, and met Mr. Pett (51), where he and I read over his last contract with the King (32) for the Forest of Dean, whereof I took notes because of this new one that he is now in making.
That done he and I walked to Lilly's (43), the painter's, where we saw among other rare things, the Duchess of York (25), her whole body, sitting instate in a chair, in white sattin, and another of the King (32), that is not finished; most rare things. I did give the fellow something that showed them us, and promised to come some other time, and he would show me Baroness Castlemaine's (21), which I could not then see, it being locked up!
Thence to Wright's (45), the painter's: but, Lord! the difference that is between their two works.
Thence to the Temple, and there spoke with my cozen Roger (45), who gives me little hopes in the business between my Uncle Tom and us. So Mr. Pett (51) (who staid at his son's chamber) and I by coach to the old Exchange, and there parted, and I home and at the office till night. My windows at my office are made clean to-day and a casement in my closet.
So home, and after some merry discourse in the kitchen with my wife and maids as I now-a-days often do, I being well pleased with both my maids, to bed.
Diary of Samuel Pepys 07 September 1662. 07 Sep 1662. Lord's Day. Up betimes and round about by the streets to my office, and walked in the garden and in my office till my man Will rose, and then sent to tell Sir J. Minnes (63) that I would go with him to Whitehall, which anon we did, in his coach, and to the Chapell, where I heard a good sermon of the Dean of Ely's, upon returning to the old ways, and a most excellent anthem, with symphonys between, sung by Captain Cooke (46). Then home with Mr. Fox (35) and his lady; and there dined with them, where much company come to them. Most of our discourse was what ministers are flung out that will not conform: and the care of the Bishop of London (64) that we are here supplied with very good men.
Thence to my Lord's, where nobody at home but a woman that let me in, and Sarah above, whither I went up to her and played and talked with her...
After I had talked an hour or two with her I went and gave Mr. Hunt a short visit, he being at home alone, and thence walked homewards, and meeting Mr. Pierce, the chyrurgeon, he took me into Somersett House; and there carried me into the Queen-Mother's (52) presence-chamber, where she was with our own Queen (23) sitting on her left hand (whom I did never see before); and though she be not very charming, yet she hath a good, modest, and innocent look, which is pleasing. Here I also saw Madam Castlemaine (21), and, which pleased me most, Mr. Crofts (13), the King's (32) bastard, a most pretty spark of about 15 years old, who, I perceive, do hang much upon my Baroness Castlemaine's (21), and is always with her; and, I hear, the Queens (23) both of them are mighty kind to him1.
By and by in comes the King (32), and anon the Duke and his Duchess; so that, they being all together, was such a sight as I never could almost have happened to see with so much ease and leisure. They staid till it was dark, and then went away; the King (32) and his Queen (23), and my Baroness Castlemaine's (21) and young Crofts, in one coach and the rest in other, coaches. Here were great store of great ladies, but very few handsome. The King (32) and Queen (23) were very merry; and he would have made the Queen-Mother (52) believe that his Queen (23) was with child, and said that she said so. And the young Queen (23) answered, "You lye;" which was the first English word that I ever heard her say which made the King (32) good sport; and he would have taught her to say in English, "Confess and be hanged".
The company being gone I walked home with great content as I can be in for seeing the greatest rarity, and yet a little troubled that I should see them before my wife's coming home, I having made a promise that I would not, nor did I do it industriously and by design, but by chance only.
To my office, to fit myself for waiting on the Duke to-morrow morning with the rest of our company, and so to my lodgings and to bed.
Note 1. James (13), the son of Charles II (32) by Lucy Walter (32), daughter of William Walter, of Roch Castle, co. Pembroke. He was born April 9th, 1649, and landed in England with the Queen-Mother (52), July 28th, 1662, when he bore the name of Crofts, after Lord Crofts (51), his governor. He was created Duke of Monmouth, February 14th, 1663, and married Lady Anne Scott (11), daughter and heiress of Francis, second Earl of Buccleuch (35), on April 20th following. In 1673 he took the name of Scott, and was created Duke of Buccleuch.
Diary of Samuel Pepys 30 December 1662. 30 Dec 1662. Up and to the office, whither Sir W. Pen (41) came, the first time that he has come downstairs since his late great sickness of the gout. We with Mr. Coventry (34) sat till noon, then I to the Change ward, to see what play was there, but I liked none of them, and so homeward, and calling in at Mr. Rawlinson's, where he stopped me to dine with him and two East India officers of ships and Hovell our turner. With the officers I had good discourse, particularly of the people at the Cape of Good Hope, of whom they of their own knowledge do tell me these one or two things: viz .... that they never sleep lying, but always sitting upon the ground, that their speech is not so articulate as ours, but yet [they] understand one another well, that they paint themselves all over with the grease the Dutch sell them (who have a fort there) and soot.
After dinner drinking five or six glasses of wine, which liberty I now take till I begin my oath again, I went home and took my wife into coach, and carried her to Westminster; there visited Mrs. Ferrer, and staid talking with her a good while, there being a little, proud, ugly, talking lady there, that was much crying up the Queen-Mother's (24) Court at Somerset House above our own Queen's (24); there being before no allowance of laughing and the mirth that is at the other's; and indeed it is observed that the greatest Court now-a-days is there.
Thence to White Hall, where I carried my wife to see the Queen (53) in her presence-chamber; and the maydes of honour and the young Duke of Monmouth (13) playing at cards. Some of them, and but a few, were very pretty; though all well dressed in velvet gowns.
Thence to my Lord's lodgings, where Mrs. Sarah did make us my Lord's bed, and Mr. Creed I being sent for, sat playing at cards till it was late, and so good night, and with great pleasure to bed.
Diary of Samuel Pepys 08 May 1663. 08 May 1663. Up very early and to my office, there preparing letters to my father of great import in the settling of our affairs, and putting him upon a way [of] good husbandry, I promising to make out of my own purse him up to £50 per annum, till either by my uncle Thomas's death or the fall of the Wardrobe place he be otherwise provided. That done I by water to the Strand, and there viewed the Queen-Mother's (53) works at Somersett House, and thence to the new playhouse, but could not get in to see it.
Diary of Samuel Pepys 06 November 1663. 06 Nov 1663. This morning waking, my wife was mighty-earnest with me to persuade me that she should prove with child since last night, which, if it be, let it come, and welcome.
Up to my office, whither Commissioner Pett (53) came, newly come out of the country, and he and I walked together in the garden talking of business a great while, and I perceive that by our countenancing of him he do begin to pluck up his head, and will do good things I hope in the yard.
Thence, he being gone, to my office and there dispatched many people, and at noon to the 'Change to the coffee-house, and among other things heard Sir John Cutler say, that of his owne experience in time of thunder, so many barrels of beer as have a piece of iron laid upon them will not be soured, and the others will.
Thence to the 'Change, and there discoursed with many people, and I hope to settle again to my business and revive my report of following of business, which by my being taken off for a while by sickness and, laying out of money has slackened for a little while.
Home, and there found Mrs. Hunt, who dined very merry, good woman; with us.
After dinner came in Captain Grove, and he and I alone to talk of many things, and among many others of the Fishery, in which he gives the such hopes that being at this time full of projects how to get a little honestly, of which some of them I trust in God will take, I resolved this afternoon to go and consult my Lord Sandwich (38) about it, and so, being to carry home Mrs. Hunt, I took her and my wife by coach and set them at Axe Yard, and I to my Lord's and thither sent for Creed and discoursed with him about it, and he and I to White Hall, where Sir G. Carteret (53) and my Lord met me very fortunately, and wondered first to see me in my perruque, and I am glad it is over, and then, Sir G. Carteret (53) being gone, I took my Lord aside, who do give me the best advice he can, and telling me how there are some projectors, by name Edward Ford (58), who would have the making of farthings1, and out of that give so much to the King (33) for the maintenance of the Fishery; but my Lord do not like that, but would have it go as they offered the last year, and so upon my desire he promises me when it is seasonable to bring me into the commission with others, if any of them take, and I perceive he and Mr. Coventry (35) are resolved to follow it hard.
Thence, after walking a good while in the Long gallery, home to my Lord's lodging, my Lord telling me how my father did desire him to speak to me about my giving of my sister something, which do vex me to see that he should trouble my Lord in it, but however it is a good occasion for me to tell my Lord my condition, and so I was glad of it. After that we begun to talk of the Court, and he tells me how Mr. Edward Montagu (28) begins to show respect to him again after his endeavouring to bespatter him all was, possible; but he is resolved never to admit him into his friendship again. He tells me how he and Sir H. Bennet (45), the Duke of Buckingham (35) and his Duchesse (25), was of a committee with somebody else for the getting of Mrs. Stewart (16) for the King (33); but that she proves a cunning slut, and is advised at Somerset House by the Queene-Mother (24), and by her mother (53), and so all the plot is spoiled and the whole committee broke. Mr. Montagu (28) and the Duke of Buckingham (35) fallen a-pieces, the Duchesse (25) going to a nunnery; and so Montagu begins to enter friendship with my Lord, and to attend the Chancellor (54) whom he had deserted. My Lord tells me that Mr. Montagu (28), among other things, did endeavour to represent him to the Chancellor's (54) sons as one that did desert their father in the business of my Lord of Bristol (51); which is most false, being the only man that hath several times dined with him when no soul hath come to him, and went with him that very day home when the Earl impeached him in the Parliament House, and hath refused ever to pay a visit to my Lord of Bristol (51), not so much as in return to a visit of his. So that the Chancellor (54) and my Lord are well known and trusted one by another. But yet my Lord blames the Chancellor (54) for desiring to have it put off to the next Session of Parliament, contrary to my Lord Treasurer's (56) advice, to whom he swore he would not do it: and, perhaps, my Chancellor (54), for aught I see by my Lord's discourse, may suffer by it when the Parliament comes to sit. My Lord tells me that he observes the Duke of York (30) do follow and understand business very well, and is mightily improved thereby. !Here Mr. Pagett coming in I left my Lord and him, and thence I called my wife and her maid Jane and by coach home and to my office, where late writing some things against tomorrow, and so home to supper and to bed.
This morning Mr. Blackburne came to me to let me know that he had got a lodging very commodious for his kinsman, and so he is ready at my pleasure to go when I would bid him, and so I told him that I would in a day or two send to speak with him and he and I would talk and advise Will what to do, of which I am very glad.
Note 1. Edward Ford (58), son of Sir William Ford of Harting, born at Up Park in 1605. "After the Restoration he invented a mode of coining farthings. Each piece was to differ minutely from another to prevent forgery. He failed in procuring a patent for these in England, but obtained one for Ireland. He died in Ireland before he could carry his design into execution, on September 3rd, 1670" ("Dictionary of National Biography ").
Diary of Samuel Pepys 22 February 1664. 22 Feb 1664. Thence, meeting Mr. Moore, and to the Exchange and there found my wife at pretty Doll's, and thence by coach set her at my uncle Wight's (62), to go with my aunt to market once more against Lent, and I to the Coffee-house, and thence to the 'Change, my chief business being to enquire about the manner of other countries keeping of their masts wet or dry, and got good advice about it, and so home, and alone ate a bad, cold dinner, my people being at their washing all day, and so to the office and all the afternoon upon my letter to Mr. Coventry (36) about keeping of masts, and ended it very well at night and wrote it fair over.
This evening came Mr. Alsopp the King's brewer, with whom I spent an houre talking and bewailing the posture of things at present; the King (33) led away by half-a-dozen men, that none of his serious servants and friends can come at him. These are Lauderdale (47), Buckingham (36), Hamilton, Fitz-Harding (34) (to whom he hath, it seems, given £2,000 per annum in the best part of the King's estate); and that that the old Duke of Buckingham (71) could never get of the King (33). Progers is another, and Sir H. Bennett (46). He loves not the Queen (25) at all, but is rather sullen to her; and she, by all reports, incapable of children. He is so fond of the Duke of Monmouth (14), that every body admires it; and he says the Duke hath said, that he would be the death of any man that says the King (33) was not married to his mother: though Alsopp says, it is well known that she was a common whore before the King (33) lay with her. But it seems, he says, that the King (33) is mighty kind to these his bastard children; and at this day will go at midnight to my Baroness Castlemaine's (23) nurses, and take the child and dance it in his arms: that he is not likely to have his tables up again in his house1, for the crew that are about him will not have him come to common view again, but keep him obscurely among themselves. He hath this night, it seems, ordered that the Hall (which there is a ball to be in to-night before the King (33)) be guarded, as the Queen-Mother's (54) is, by his Horse Guards; whereas heretofore they were by the Lord Chamberlain or Steward, and their people. But it is feared they will reduce all to the soldiery, and all other places taken away; and what is worst of all, that he will alter the present militia, and bring all to a flying army.
That my Lord Lauderdale (47), being Middleton's (56) enemy, and one that scorns the Chancellor (55) even to open affronts before the King (33), hath got the whole power of Scotland into his hand; whereas the other day he was in a fair way to have had his whole estate, and honour, and life, voted away from him.
That the King (33) hath done himself all imaginable wrong in the business of my Lord Antrim (54), in Ireland; who, though he was the head of rebels, yet he by his letter owns to have acted by his father's and mother's, and his commissions; but it seems the truth is, he hath obliged himself, upon the clearing of his estate, to settle it upon a daughter of the Queene-Mother's (25) (by my Lord Germin (58), I suppose,) in marriage, be it to whom the Queene (54) pleases; which is a sad story.
It seems a daughter of the Duke of Lenox's (24) was, by force, going to be married the other day at Somerset House, to Harry Germin (28); but she got away and run to the King (33), and he says he will protect her. She is, it seems, very near akin to the King (33): Such mad doings there are every day among them!
The rape upon a woman at Turnstile the other day, her husband being bound in his shirt, they both being in bed together, it being night, by two Frenchmen, who did not only lye with her but abused her with a linke, is hushed up for £300, being the Queen Mother's (25) servants.
The Duke of Monmouth's (14) mother's (34) brother hath a place at Court; and being a Welchman (I think he told me) will talk very broad of the King's being married to his sister (34).
The King (33) did the other day, at the Council, commit my Lord Digby's' (51) chaplin, and steward, and another servant, who went upon the process begun there against their lord, to swear that they saw him at church, end receive the Sacrament as a Protestant, (which, the judges said, was sufficient to prove him such in the eye of the law); the King (33), I say, did commit them all to the Gate-house, notwithstanding their pleading their dependance upon him, and the faith they owed him as their lord, whose bread they eat. And that the King (33) should say, that he would soon see whether he was King, or Digby (51).
That the Queene-Mother (25) hath outrun herself in her expences, and is now come to pay very ill, or run in debt; the money being spent that she received for leases. He believes there is not any money laid up in bank, as I told him some did hope; but he says, from the best informers he can assure me there is no such thing, nor any body that should look after such a thing; and that there is not now above £80,000 of the Dunkirke money left in stock.
That Oliver in the year when he spent £1,400,000 in the Navy, did spend in the whole expence of the Kingdom £2,600,000. That all the Court are mad for a Dutch war; but both he and I did concur, that it was a thing rather to be dreaded than hoped for; unless by the French King's (25) falling upon Flanders, they and the Dutch should be divided. That our Embassador (64) had, it is true, an audience; but in the most dishonourable way that could be; for the Princes of the Blood (though invited by our Embassador (64), which was the greatest absurdity that ever Embassador committed these 400 years) were not there; and so were not said to give place to our King's Embassador. And that our King did openly say, the other day in the Privy Chamber, that he would not be hectored out of his right and preeminencys by the King of France (25), as great as he was.
That the Pope is glad to yield to a peace with the French (as the newes-book says), upon the basest terms that ever was. That the talke which these people about our King, that I named before, have, is to tell him how neither privilege of Parliament nor City is any thing; but his will is all, and ought to be so: and their discourse, it seems, when they are alone, is so base and sordid, that it makes the eares of the very gentlemen of the back-stairs (I think he called them) to tingle to hear it spoke in the King's hearing; and that must be very bad indeed.
That my Lord Digby (51) did send to Lisbon a couple of priests, to search out what they could against the Chancellor (55) concerning the match, as to the point of his knowing before-hand that the Queene (54) was not capable of bearing children; and that something was given her to make her so. But as private as they were, when they came thither they were clapped up prisoners.
That my Lord Digby (51) endeavours what he can to bring the business into the House of Commons, hoping there to master the Chancellor (55), there being many enemies of his there; but I hope the contrary. That whereas the late King did mortgage 'Clarendon' to somebody for £20,000, and this to have given it to the Duke of Albemarle (55), and he sold it to my Chancellor (55), whose title of Earldome is fetched from thence; the King (33) hath this day sent his order to the Privy Seale for the payment of this £20,000 to my Chancellor (55), to clear the mortgage!
Ireland in a very distracted condition about the hard usage which the Protestants meet with, and the too good which the Catholiques. And from altogether, God knows my heart, I expect nothing but ruine can follow, unless things are better ordered in a little time.
He being gone my wife came and told me how kind my uncle Wight (62) had been to her to-day, and that though she says that all his kindness comes from respect to her she discovers nothing but great civility from him, yet but what she says he otherwise will tell me, but to-day he told her plainly that had she a child it should be his heir, and that should I or she want he would be a good friend to us, and did give my wife instructions to consent to all his wife says at any time, she being a pettish woman, which argues a design I think he has of keeping us in with his wife in order to our good sure, and he declaring her jealous of him that so he dares not come to see my wife as otherwise he would do and will endeavour to do. It looks strange putting all together, but yet I am in hopes he means well.
My aunt also is mighty open to my wife and tells her mighty plain how her husband did intend to double her portion to her at his death as a jointure. That he will give presently £100 to her niece Mary and a good legacy at his death, and it seems did as much to the other sister, which vexed [me] to think that he should bestow so much upon his wife's friends daily as he do, but it cannot be helped for the time past, and I will endeavour to remedy it for the time to come. After all this discourse with my wife at my office alone, she home to see how the wash goes on and I to make an end of my work, and so home to supper and to bed.
Note 1. The tables at which the King (33) dined in public.-B.
Diary of Samuel Pepys 24 February 1664. 24 Feb 1664. Ash-Wednesday. Up and by water, it being a very fine morning, to White Hall, and there to speak with Sir Ph. Warwicke (54), but he was gone out to chappell, so I spent much of the morning walking in the Park, and going to the Queene's chappell, where I staid and saw their masse, till a man came and bid me go out or kneel down: so I did go out.
And thence to Somerset House; and there into the chappell, where Monsieur d'Espagne used to preach. But now it is made very fine, and was ten times more crouded than the Queene's chappell at St. James's; which I wonder at.
Thence down to the garden of Somerset House, and up and down the new building, which in every respect will be mighty magnificent and costly. I staid a great while talking with a man in the garden that was sawing of a piece of marble, and did give him 6d. to drink. He told me much of the nature and labour of the worke, how he could not saw above 4 inches of the stone in a day, and of a greater not above one or two, and after it is sawed, then it is rubbed with coarse and then with finer and finer sand till they come to putty, and so polish it as smooth as glass. Their saws have no teeth, but it is the sand only which the saw rubs up and down that do the thing.
Thence by water to the Coffee-house, and there sat with Alderman Barker talking of hempe and the trade, and thence to the 'Change a little, and so home and dined with my wife, and then to the office till the evening, and then walked a while merrily with my wife in the garden, and so she gone, I to work again till late, and so home to supper and to bed.
Diary of Samuel Pepys 15 June 1664. 15 Jun 1664. Up and by appointment with Captain Witham (the Captain that brought the newes of the disaster at Tangier, where my Lord Tiviott was slain) and Mr. Tooker to Beares Quay, and there saw and more afterward at the several grannarys several parcels of oates, and strange it is to hear how it will heat itself if laid up green and not often turned. We came not to any agreement, but did cheapen several parcels, and thence away, promising to send again to them.
So to the Victualling Office, and then home. And in our garden I got Captain Witham to tell me the whole story of my Lord Tiviott's misfortune; for he was upon the guard with his horse neare the towne, when at a distance he saw the enemy appear upon a hill, a mile and a half off, and made up to them, and with much ado escaped himself; but what became of my Lord he neither knows nor thinks that any body but the enemy can tell. Our losse was about four hundred. But he tells me that the greater wonder is that my Lord Tiviott met no sooner with such a disaster; for every day he did commit himself to more probable danger than this, for now he had the assurance of all his scouts that there was no enemy thereabouts; whereas he used every day to go out with two or three with him, to make his discoveries, in greater danger, and yet the man that could not endure to have anybody else to go a step out of order to endanger himself. He concludes him to be the man of the hardest fate to lose so much honour at one blow that ever was. His relation being done he parted; and so I home to look after things for dinner.
And anon at noon comes Mr. Creed by chance, and by and by the three young ladies: [Lord Sandwich's (38) daughters.] and very merry we were with our pasty, very well baked; and a good dish of roasted chickens; pease, lobsters, strawberries.
And after dinner to cards: and about five o'clock, by water down to Greenwich; and up to the top of the hill, and there played upon the ground at cards. And so to the Cherry Garden, and then by water singing finely to the Bridge, and there landed; and so took boat again, and to Somersett House. And by this time, the tide being against us, it was past ten of the clock; and such a troublesome passage, in regard of my Lady Paulina's (15) fearfullness, that in all my life I never did see any poor wretch in that condition.
Being come hither, there waited for them their coach; but it being so late, I doubted what to do how to get them home. After half an hour's stay in the street, I sent my wife home by coach with Mr. Creed's boy; and myself and Creed in the coach home with them. But, Lord! the fear that my Lady Paulina (15) was in every step of the way; and indeed at this time of the night it was no safe thing to go that road; so that I was even afeard myself, though I appeared otherwise. We came safe, however, to their house, where all were abed; we knocked them up, my Lady and all the family being in bed. So put them into doors; and leaving them with the mayds, bade them good night, and then into the towne, Creed and I, it being about twelve o'clock and past; and to several houses, inns, but could get no lodging, all being in bed. At the last house, at last, we found some people drinking and roaring; and there got in, and after drinking, got an ill bed, where...[continued tomorrow]
Diary of Samuel Pepys 10 July 1664. 10 Jul 1664. Lord's Day. Up and by water, towards noon, to Somersett House, and walked to my Lord Sandwich's (38), and there dined with my Lady and the children. And after some ordinary discourse with my Lady, after dinner took our leaves and my wife hers, in order to her going to the country to-morrow. But my Lord took not occasion to speak one word of my father or mother about the children at all, which I wonder at, and begin I will not. Here my Lady showed us my Baroness Castlemayne's (23) picture, finely done; given my Lord; and a most beautiful picture it is.
Thence with my Lady Jemimah and Mr. Sidney to St. Gyles's Church, and there heard a long, poore sermon.
Thence set them down and in their coach to Kate Joyce's christening, where much company, good service of sweetmeates; and after an houre's stay, left them, and in my Lord's coach—his noble, rich coach—home, and there my wife fell to putting things in order against her going to-morrow, and I to read, and so to bed, where I not well, and so had no pleasure at all with my poor wife.
Diary of Samuel Pepys 24 September 1664. 24 Sep 1664. Up and to the office, where all the morning busy, then home to dinner, and so after dinner comes one Phillips, who is concerned in the Lottery, and from him I collected much concerning that business. I carried him in my way to White Hall and set him down at Somersett House. Among other things he told me that Monsieur Du Puy, that is so great a man at the Duke of Yorke's (30), and this man's great opponent, is a knave and by quality but a tailor.
To the Tangier Committee, and there I opposed Colonell Legg's estimate of supplies of provisions to be sent to Tangier till all were ashamed of it, and he fain after all his good husbandry and seeming ignorance and joy to have the King's money saved, yet afterwards he discovered all his design to be to keep the furnishing of these things to the officers of the Ordnance, but Mr. Coventry (36) seconded me, and between us we shall save the King (34) some money in the year. In one business of deales in £520, I offer to save £172, and yet purpose getting money, to myself by it.
So home and to my office, and business being done home to supper and so to bed, my head and throat being still out of order mightily. This night Prior of Brampton came and paid me £40, and I find this poor painful man is the only thriving and purchasing man in the town almost. We were told to-day of a Dutch ship of 3 or 400 tons, where all the men were dead of the plague, and the ship cast ashore at Gottenburgh.
Diary of Samuel Pepys 18 October 1664. 18 Oct 1664. Up and to the office, where among other things we made a very great contract with Sir W. Warren for 3,000 loade of timber.
At noon dined at home. In the afternoon to the Fishery, where, very confused and very ridiculous, my Lord Craven's (56) proceedings, especially his finding fault with Sir J. Collaton and Colonell Griffin's' report in the accounts of the lottery-men.
Thence I with Mr. Gray in his coach to White Hall, but the King (34) and Duke being abroad, we returned to Somersett House. In discourse I find him a very worthy and studious gentleman in the business of trade, and among-other things he observed well to me, how it is not the greatest wits, but the steady man, that is a good merchant: he instanced in Ford and Cocke, the last of whom he values above all men as his oracle, as Mr. Coventry (36) do Mr. Jolliffe. He says that it is concluded among merchants, that where a trade hath once been and do decay, it never recovers again, and therefore that the manufacture of cloath of England will never come to esteem again; that, among other faults, Sir Richard Ford (50) cannot keepe a secret, and that it is so much the part of a merchant to be guilty of that fault that the Duke of Yoke is resolved to commit no more secrets to the merchants of the Royall Company; that Sir Ellis Layton is, for a speech of forty words, the wittiest man that ever he knew in his life, but longer he is nothing, his judgment being nothing at all, but his wit most absolute. At Somersett House he carried me in, and there I saw the Queene's (54) new rooms, which are most stately and nobly furnished; and there I saw her, and the Duke of Yorke (31) and Duchesse (27) were there. The Duke (31) espied me, and came to me, and talked with me a very great while about our contract this day with Sir W. Warren, and among other things did with some contempt ask whether we did except Polliards, which Sir W. Batten (63) did yesterday (in spite, as the Duke I believe by my Lord Barkely (62) do well enough know) among other things in writing propose.
Thence home by coach, it raining hard, and to my office, where late, then home to supper and to bed.
This night the Dutch Embassador desired and had an audience of the King (34). What the issue of it was I know not. Both sides I believe desire peace, but neither will begin, and so I believe a warr will follow. The Prince (44) is with his fleet at Portsmouth, and the Dutch are making all preparations for warr.
Diary of Samuel Pepys 21 January 1665. 21 Jan 1665. At the office all the morning.
Thence my Lord Bruncker (45) carried me as far as Mr. Povy's (51), and there I 'light and dined, meeting Mr. Sherwin, Creed, &c., there upon his accounts.
After dinner they parted and Mr. Povy (51) carried me to Somersett House, and there showed me the Queene-Mother's (26) chamber and closett, most beautiful places for furniture and pictures; and so down the great stone stairs to the garden, and tried the brave echo upon the stairs; which continues a voice so long as the singing three notes, concords, one after another, they all three shall sound in consort together a good while most pleasantly.
Thence to a Tangier Committee at White Hall, where I saw nothing ordered by judgment, but great heat and passion and faction now in behalf of my Lord Bellasses (50), and to the reproach of my Lord Tiviott, and dislike as it were of former proceedings.
So away with Mr. Povy (51), he carrying me homeward to Mark Lane in his coach, a simple fellow I now find him, to his utter shame in his business of accounts, as none but a sorry foole would have discovered himself; and yet, in little, light, sorry things very cunning; yet, in the principal, the most ignorant man I ever met with in so great trust as he is.
To my office till past 12, and then home to supper and to bed, being now mighty well, and truly I cannot but impute it to my fresh hare's foote. Before I went to bed I sat up till two o'clock in my chamber reading of Mr. Hooke's (29) Microscopicall Observations, the most ingenious book that ever I read in my life.
Diary of Samuel Pepys 29 June 1665. 29 Jun 1665. Up and by water to White Hall, where the Court full of waggons and people ready to go out of towne. To the Harp and Ball, and there drank and talked with Mary, she telling me in discourse that she lived lately at my neighbour's, Mr. Knightly, which made me forbear further discourse. This end of the towne every day grows very bad of the plague. The Mortality Bill is come to 2671 which is about ninety more than the last: and of these but four in the City, which is a great blessing to us.
Thence to Creed, and with him up and down about Tangier business, to no purpose. Took leave again of Mr. Coventry (37); though I hope the Duke (31) has not gone to stay, and so do others too.
So home, calling at Somersett House, where all are packing up too: the Queene-Mother (55) setting out for France this day to drink Bourbon waters this year, she being in a consumption; and intends not to come till winter come twelvemonths2.
So by coach home, where at the office all the morning, and at noon Mrs. Hunt dined with us. Very merry, and she a very good woman.
To the office, where busy a while putting some things in my office in order, and then to letters till night. About 10 a'clock home, the days being sensibly shorter before I have once kept a summer's day by shutting up office by daylight; but my life hath been still as it was in winter almost. But I will for a month try what I can do by daylight.
So home to supper and to bed.
Note 1. According to the Bills of Mortality, the total number of deaths in London for the week ending June 27th was 684, of which number 267 were deaths from the plague. The number of deaths rose week by week until September 19th, when the total was 8,297, and the deaths from the plague 7,165. On September 26th the total had fallen to 6,460, and deaths from the plague to 5,533 The number fell gradually, week by week, till October 31st, when the total was 1,388, and deaths from the plague 1,031. On November 7th there was a rise to 1,787 and 1,414 respectively. On November 14th the numbers had gone down to 1,359 and 1,050 respectively. On December 12th the total had fallen to 442, and deaths from the plague to 243. On December 19th there was a rise to 525 and 281 respectively. The total of burials in 1665 was 97,506, of which number the plague claimed 68,596 victims.
Note 2. The Queen-Mother (55) never came to England again. She retired to her chateau at Colombes, near Paris, where she died in August, 1669, after a long illness; the immediate cause of her death being an opiate ordered by her physicians. She was buried, September 12th, in the church of St. Denis. Her funeral sermon was preached by Bossuet. Sir John Reresby speaks of Queen Henrietta Maria (26) in high terms. He says that in the winter, 1659-60, although the Court of France was very splendid, there was a greater resort to the Palais Royal, "the good humour and wit of our Queen Mother (55), and the beauty of the Princess Henrietta (21) her daughter, giving greater invitation than the more particular humour of the French Queen (26), being a Spaniard". In another place he says: "Her majesty had a great affection for England, notwithstanding the severe usage she and hers had received from it. Her discourse was much with the great men and ladies of France in praise of the people and of the country; of their courage, generosity, good nature; and would excuse all their miscarriages in relation to unfortunate effects of the late war, as if it were a convulsion of some desperate and infatuated persons, rather than from the genius and temper of the Kingdom" ("Memoirs of Sir John Reresby", ed. Cartwright, pp. 43, 45).
Diary of Samuel Pepys 01 March 1667. 01 Mar 1667. Up, it being very cold weather again after a good deal of warm summer weather, and to the office, where I settled to do much business to-day.
By and by sent for to Sir G. Carteret (57) to discourse of the business of the Navy, and our wants, and the best way of bestowing the little money we have, which is about £30,000, but, God knows, we have need of ten times as much, which do make my life uncomfortable, I confess, on the King's behalf, though it is well enough as to my own particular, but the King's service is undone by it. Having done with him, back again to the office, and in the streets, in Mark Lane, I do observe, it being St. David's day, the picture of a man dressed like a Welchman, hanging by the neck upon one of the poles that stand out at the top of one of the merchants' houses, in full proportion, and very handsomely done; which is one of the oddest sights I have seen a good while, for it was so like a man that one would have thought it was indeed a man1. Being returned home, I find Greeting, the flageolet-master, come, and teaching my wife; and I do think my wife will take pleasure in it, and it will be easy for her, and pleasant. So I, as I am well content with the charge it will occasion me.
So to the office till dinner-time, and then home to dinner, and before dinner making my wife to sing. Poor wretch! her ear is so bad that it made me angry, till the poor wretch cried to see me so vexed at her, that I think I shall not discourage her so much again, but will endeavour to make her understand sounds, and do her good that way; for she hath a great mind to learn, only to please me; and, therefore, I am mighty unjust to her in discouraging her so much, but we were good friends, and to dinner, and had she not been ill with those and that it were not Friday (on which in Lent there are no plays) I had carried her to a play, but she not being fit to go abroad, I to the office, where all the afternoon close examining the collection of my papers of the accounts of the Navy since this war to my great content, and so at night home to talk and sing with my-wife, and then to supper and so to bed with great pleasure. But I cannot but remember that just before dinner one of my people come up to me, and told me a man come from Huntingdon would speak with me, how my heart come into my mouth doubting that my father, who has been long sicke, was dead. It put me into a trembling, but, blessed be [God]! it was no such thing, but a countryman come about ordinary business to me, to receive £50 paid to my father in the country for the Perkins's for their legacy, upon the death of their mother, by my uncle's will. So though I get nothing at present, at least by the estate, I am fain to pay this money rather than rob my father, and much good may it do them that I may have no more further trouble from them. I hear to-day that Tom Woodall, the known chyrurgeon, is killed at Somerset House by a Frenchman, but the occasion Sir W. Batten (66) could not tell me.
Note 1. From "Poor Robin's Almanack" for 1757 it appears that, in former times in England, a Welshman was burnt in effigy on this anniversary. Mr. W. C. Hazlitt, in his edition of Brand's "Popular Antiquities", adds "The practice to which Pepys refers... was very common at one time; and till very lately bakers made gingerbread Welshmen, called taffies, on St. David's day, which were made to represent a man skewered" (vol. i., pp. 60,61).
Diary of Samuel Pepys 26 December 1667. 26 Dec 1667. Up and to Westminster, and there to the Swan, and by chance met Mr. Spicer and another 'Chequer clerk, and there made them drink, and there talked of the credit the 'Chequer is now come to and will in a little time, and so away homeward, and called at my bookseller's, and there bought Mr. Harrington's (56) works, "Oceana", &c., and two other books, which cost me £4, and so home, and there eat a bit, and then with my wife to the King's playhouse, and there saw "The Surprizall"; which did not please me to-day, the actors not pleasing me; and especially Nell's (17) acting of a serious part, which she spoils. Here met with Sir W. Pen (46), and sat by him, and home by coach with him, and there to my office a while, and then home to supper and to bed. I hear this day that Mrs. Stewart (20) do at this day keep a great court at Somerset House, with her husband the Duke of Richmond (28), she being visited for her beauty's sake by people, as the Queen (29) is, at nights; and they say also that she is likely to go to Court again, and there put my Baroness Castlemayne's (27) nose out of joynt. God knows that would make a great turn. This day I was invited to have gone to my cozen Mary Pepys' burial, my uncle Thomas' (72) daughter, but could not.
Diary of Samuel Pepys 26 March 1668. 26 Mar 1668. Up betimes to the office, where by and by my Lord Brouncker (48) and I met and made an end of our business betimes. So I away with him to Mrs. Williams's, and there dined, and thence I alone to the Duke of York's (34) house, to see the new play, called "The Man is the Master", where the house was, it being not above one o'clock, very full. But my wife and Deb. being there before, with Mrs. Pierce and Corbet and Betty Turner (15), whom my wife carried with her, they made me room; and there I sat, it costing me 8s. upon them in oranges, at 6d. a-piece.
By and by the King (37) come; and we sat just under him, so that I durst not turn my back all the play. The play is a translation out of French, and the plot Spanish, but not anything extraordinary at all in it, though translated by Sir W. Davenant (62), and so I found the King (37) and his company did think meanly of it, though there was here and there something pretty: but the most of the mirth was sorry, poor stuffe, of eating of sack-posset and slabbering themselves, and mirth fit for clownes; the prologue but poor, and the epilogue little in it but the extraordinariness of it, it being sung by Harris (34) and another in the form of a ballet.
Thence, by agreement, we all of us to the Blue Balls, hard by, whither Mr. Pierce also goes with us, who met us at the play, and anon comes Manuel, and his wife, and Knepp, and Harris (34), who brings with him Mr. Banister (38), the great master of musique; and after much difficulty in getting of musique, we to dancing, and then to a supper of some French dishes, which yet did not please me, and then to dance and sing; and mighty merry we were till about eleven or twelve at night, with mighty great content in all my company, and I did, as I love to do, enjoy myself in my pleasure as being the height of what we take pains for and can hope for in this world, and therefore to be enjoyed while we are young and capable of these joys. My wife extraordinary fine to-day, in her flower tabby suit, bought a year and more ago, before my mother's death put her into mourning, and so not worn till this day: and every body in love with it; and indeed she is very fine and handsome in it. I having paid the reckoning, which come to almost £4., we parted: my company and William Batelier, who was also with us, home in a coach, round by the Wall, where we met so many stops by the Watches, that it cost us much time and some trouble, and more money, to every Watch, to them to drink; this being encreased by the trouble the 'prentices did lately give the City, so that the Militia and Watches are very strict at this time; and we had like to have met with a stop for all night at the Constable's watch, at Mooregate, by a pragmatical Constable; but we come well home at about two in the morning, and so to bed. This noon, from Mrs. Williams's, my Lord Brouncker (48) sent to Somersett House to hear how the Duchess of Richmond (20) do; and word was brought him that she is pretty well, but mighty full of the smallpox, by which all do conclude she will be wholly spoiled, which is the greatest instance of the uncertainty of beauty that could be in this age; but then she hath had the benefit of it to be first married, and to have kept it so long, under the greatest temptations in the world from a King, and yet without the least imputation. This afternoon, at the play, Sir Fr. Hollis (25) spoke to me as a secret, and matter of confidence in me, and friendship to Sir W. Pen (46), who is now out of town, that it were well he were made acquainted that he finds in the House of Commons, which met this day, several motions made for the calling strictly again upon the Miscarriages, and particularly in the business of the Prises, and the not prosecuting of the first victory, only to give an affront to Sir W. Pen (46), whose going to sea this year do give them matter of great dislike. So though I do not much trouble myself for him, yet I am sorry that he should have this fall so unhappily without any fault, but rather merit of his own that made him fitter for this command than any body else, and the more for that this business of his may haply occasion their more eager pursuit against the whole body of the office.
Diary of Samuel Pepys 19 May 1668. 19 May 1668. Up, and called on Mr. Pierce, who tells me that after all this ado Ward is come to town, and hath appeared to the Commissioners of Accounts and given such answers as he thinks will do every body right, and let the world see that their great expectations and jealousies have been vain in this matter of the prizes. The Commissioners were mighty inquisitive whether he was not instructed by letters or otherwise from hence from my Lord Sandwich's (42) friends what to say and do, and particularly from me, which he did wholly deny, as it was true, I not knowing the man that I know of. He tells me also that, for certain, Mr. Vaughan (64) is made Lord Chief justice, which I am glad of. He tells me, too; that since my Lord of Ormond's (57) coming over, the King (37) begins to be mightily reclaimed, and sups every night with great pleasure with the Queene (58): and yet, it seems, he is mighty hot upon the Duchess of Richmond (20); insomuch that, upon Sunday was se'nnight, at night, after he had ordered his Guards and coach to be ready to carry him to the Park, he did, on a sudden, take a pair of oars or sculler, and all alone, or but one with him, go to Somersett House, and there, the garden-door not being open, himself clamber over the walls to make a visit to her, which is a horrid shame. He gone, I to the office, where we sat all the morning, Sir W. Pen (47) sick of the gout comes not out.
After dinner at home, to White Hall, it being a very rainy day, and there a Committee for Tangier, where I was mightily pleased to see Sir W. Coventry (40) fall upon my Lord Bellasses' (53) business of the 3d. in every piece of it which he would get to himself, making the King (37) pay 4s. 9d, while he puts them off for 4s. 6d., so that Sir W. Coventry (40) continues still the same man for the King's good. But here Creed did vex me with saying that I ought first to have my account past by the Commissioners of Tangier before in the Exchequer.
Thence W. Coventry (40) and I in the Matted Gallery, and there he did talk very well to me about the way to save the credit of the officers of the Navy, and their places too, by making use of this interval of Parliament to be found to be mending of matters in the Navy, and that nothing but this will do it, and gives an instance in themselves of the Treasury, whereof himself and Sir John Duncombe (45) all the world knows have enemies, and my Lord Ashly (46) a man obnoxious to most, and Sir Thomas Clifford (37) one that as a man suddenly rising and a creature of my Lord Arlington's (50) hath enemies enough (none of them being otherwise but the Duke of Albemarle (59)), yet with all this fault they hear nothing of the business of the Treasury, but all well spoken of there. He is for the removal of Sir John Minnes (69), thinking that thereby the world will see a greater change in the hands than now they do; and I will endeavour it, and endeavour to do some good in the office also.
So home by coach, and to the office, where ended my letters, and then home, and there got Balty (28) to read to me out of Sorbiere's Observations in his Voyage into England, and then to bed.
Diary of Samuel Pepys 21 September 1668. 21 Sep 1668. Up, and betimes Sir D. Gauden with me talking about the Victualling business, which is now under dispute for a new contract, or whether it shall be put into a Commission. He gone, comes Mr. Hill (38) to talk with me about Lanyon's business, and so being in haste I took him to the water with me, and so to White Hall, and there left him, and I to Sir W. Coventry (40), and shewed him my answer to the Duke of York's (34) great letter, which he likes well. We also discoursed about the Victualling business, which he thinks there is a design to put into a way of Commission, but do look upon all things to be managed with faction, and is grieved under it.
So to St. James's, and there the Duke of York (34) did of his own accord come to me, and tell me that he had read, and do like of, my answers to the objections which he did give me the other day, about the Navy; and so did W. Coventry (40) too, who told me that the Duke of York (34) had shown him them: So to White Hall a little and the Chequer, and then by water home to dinner with my people, where Tong was also this day with me, whom I shall employ for a time, and so out again and by water to Somerset House, but when come thither I turned back and to Southwarke-Fair, very dirty, and there saw the puppet-show of Whittington, which was pretty to see; and how that idle thing do work upon people that see it, and even myself too! And thence to Jacob Hall's dancing on the ropes, where I saw such action as I never saw before, and mightily worth seeing; and here took acquaintance with a fellow that carried me to a tavern, whither come the musick of this booth, and by and by Jacob Hall himself, with whom I had a mind to speak, to hear whether he had ever any mischief by falls in his time. He told me, "Yes, many; but never to the breaking of a limb:" he seems a mighty strong man. So giving them a bottle or two of wine, I away with Payne, the waterman. He, seeing me at the play, did get a link to light me, and so light me to the Beare, where Bland, my waterman, waited for me with gold and other things he kept for me, to the value of £40 and more, which I had about me, for fear of my pockets being cut. So by link-light through the bridge, it being mighty dark, but still weather, and so home, where I find my draught of "The Resolution" come, finished, from Chatham; but will cost me, one way or other, about £12 or £13, in the board, frame, and garnishing, which is a little too much, but I will not be beholden to the King's officers that do it.
So to supper, and the boy to read to me, and so to bed. This day I met Mr. Moore in the New Exchange, and had much talk of my Lord's concernments. This day also come out first the new five-pieces in gold, coined by the Guiny Company; and I did get two pieces of Mr. Holder1. 22nd. Up, and to the Office, where sitting all the morning at noon, home to dinner, with my people, and so to the Office again, where busy all the afternoon, and in the evening spent my time walking in the dark, in the garden, to favour my eyes, which I find nothing but ease to help. In the garden there comes to me my Lady Pen (44) and Mrs. Turner (45) and Markham, and we sat and talked together, and I carried them home, and there eat a bit of something, and by and by comes Sir W. Pen (47), and eat with us, and mighty merry-in appearance, at least, he being on all occasions glad to be at friendship with me, though we hate one another, and know it on both sides. They gone, Mrs. Turner (45) and I to walk in the garden.... So led her home, and I back to bed. This day Mr. Wren (39) did give me, at the Board, Commissioner Middleton's answer to the Duke of York's (34) great letter; so that now I have all of them.
Note 1. Guineas took their name from the gold brought from Guinea by the African Company in 1663, who, as an encouragement to bring over gold to be coined, were permitted by their charter from Charles II to have their stamp of an elephant upon the coin. When first coined they were valued at 20s., but were worth 30s. in 1695. There were likewise fivepound pieces, like the guinea, with the inscription upon the rim.
Diary of Samuel Pepys 27 September 1668. 27 Sep 1668. Lord's Day. Up, and to my office to finish my journall for five days past, and so abroad and walked to White Hall, calling in at Somerset House Chapel, and also at the Spanish Embassador's at York House, and there did hear a little masse: and so to White Hall; and there the King (38) being gone to Chapel, I to walk all the morning in the Park, where I met Mr. Wren; and he and I walked together in the Pell-Mell, it being most summer weather that ever was seen: and here talking of several things: of the corruption of the Court, and how unfit it is for ingenious men, and himself particularly, to live in it, where a man cannot live but he must spend, and cannot get suitably, without breach of his honour: and did thereupon tell me of the basest thing of my Lord Barkeley (66), one of the basest things that ever was heard of of a man, which was this: how the Duke of York's (34) Commissioners do let his wine-licenses at a bad rate, and being offered a better, they did persuade the Duke of York (34) to give some satisfaction to the former to quit it, and let it to the latter, which being done, my Lord Barkeley (66) did make the bargain for the former to have £1500 a-year to quit it; whereof, since, it is come to light that they were to have but £800 and himself £700, which the Duke of York (34) hath ever since for some years paid, though this second bargain hath been broken, and the Duke of York (34) lost by it, [half] of what the first was. He told me that there hath been a seeming accommodation between the Duke of York (34) and the Duke of Buckingham (40) and Lord Arlington (50), the two latter desiring it; but yet that there is not true agreement between them, but they do labour to bring in all new creatures into play, and the Duke of York (34) do oppose it, as particularly in this of Sir Prince.
Thence, he gone, I to the Queen's Chapel, and there heard some good singing; and so to White Hall, and saw the King (38) and Queen (29) at dinner and thence with Sir Stephen Fox (41) to dinner: and the Cofferer (64) with us; and there mighty kind usage, and good discourse.
Thence spent all the afternoon walking in the Park, and then in the evening at Court, on the Queen's (29) side; and there met Mr. Godolphin (33), who tells me that the news, is true we heard yesterday, of my Lord Sandwich's (43) being come to Mount's Bay, in Cornwall, and so I heard this afternoon at Mrs. Pierce's, whom I went to make a short visit to. This night, in the Queen's drawing-room, my Lord Brouncker (48) told me the difference that is now between the three Embassadors here, the Venetian, French, and Spaniard; the third not being willing to make a visit to the first, because he would not receive him at the door; who is willing to give him as much respect as he did to the French, who was used no otherwise, and who refuses now to take more of him, upon being desired thereto, in order to the making an accommodation in this matter, which is very pretty. So a boat staying for me all this evening, I home in the dark about eight at night, and so over the ruins from the Old Swan home with great trouble, and so to hear my boy read a little, and supper and to bed. This evening I found at home Pelling and Wallington and one Aldrige, and we supped and sung.
Diary of Samuel Pepys 18 November 1668. 18 Nov 1668. Lay long in bed talking with my wife, she being unwilling to have me go abroad, saying and declaring herself jealous of my going out for fear of my going to Deb., which I do deny, for which God forgive me, for I was no sooner out about noon but I did go by coach directly to Somerset House, and there enquired among the porters there for Dr. Allbun, and the first I spoke with told me he knew him, and that he was newly gone into Lincoln's Inn Fields, but whither he could not tell me, but that one of his fellows not then in the way did carry a chest of drawers thither with him, and that when he comes he would ask him. This put me into some hopes, and I to White Hall, and thence to Mr. Povy's (54), but he at dinner, and therefore I away and walked up and down the Strand between the two turnstiles, hoping to see her out of a window, and then employed a porter, one Osberton, to find out this Doctor's lodgings thereabouts, who by appointment comes to me to Hercules Pillars, where I dined alone, but tells me that he cannot find out any such, but will enquire further.
Thence back to White Hall to the Treasury a while, and thence to the Strand, and towards night did meet with the porter that carried the chest of drawers with this Doctor, but he would not tell me where he lived, being his good master, he told me, but if I would have a message to him he would deliver it. At last I told him my business was not with him, but a little gentlewoman, one Mrs. Willet, that is with him, and sent him to see how she did from her friend in London, and no other token. He goes while I walk in Somerset House, walk there in the Court; at last he comes back and tells me she is well, and that I may see her if I will, but no more. So I could not be commanded by my reason, but I must go this very night, and so by coach, it being now dark, I to her, close by my tailor's, and she come into the coach to me, and je did baiser her....[Missing text "and she come into the coach to me, and yo did besar her and tocar her thing, but ella was against it and laboured with much earnestness, such as I believed to be real; and yet at last yo did make her tener mi cosa in her mano, while mi mano was sobra her pectus, and so did hazar with grand delight. I did nevertheless give her the best counsel I could,,...."] I did nevertheless give her the best council I could, to have a care of her honour, and to fear God, and suffer no man para avoir to do con her as je have done, which she promised. Je did give her 20s. and directions para laisser sealed in paper at any time the name of the place of her being at Herringman's, my bookseller in the 'Change, by which I might go para her, and so bid her good night with much content to my mind, and resolution to look after her no more till I heard from her. And so home, and there told my wife a fair tale, God knows, how I spent the whole day, with which the poor wretch was satisfied, or at least seemed so, and so to supper and to bed, she having been mighty busy all day in getting of her house in order against to-morrow to hang up our new hangings and furnishing our best chamber.
Diary of Samuel Pepys 11 December 1668. 11 Dec 1668. Up, and with W. Hewer (26) by water to Somerset House; and there I to my Lord Brouncker (48), before he went forth to the Duke of York (35), and there told him my confidence that I should make Middleton appear a fool, and that it was, I thought, best for me to complain of the wrong he hath done; but brought it about, that my Lord desired me I would forbear, and promised that he would prevent Middleton till I had given in my answer to the Board, which I desired: and so away to White Hall, and there did our usual attendance and no word spoke before the Duke of York (35) by Middleton at all; at which I was glad to my heart, because by this means I have time to draw up my answer to my mind. So with W. Hewer (26) by coach to Smithfield, but met not Mr. Dickering (50), he being not come, and so he [Will] and I to a cook's shop, in Aldersgate Street; and dined well for 19 1/2 d., upon roast beef, pleasing ourselves with the infinite strength we have to prove Middleton a coxcomb; and so, having dined, we back to Smithfield, and there met Pickering, and up and down all the afternoon about horses, and did see the knaveries and tricks of jockeys. Here I met W. Joyce, who troubled me with his impertinencies a great while, and the like Mr. Knepp who, it seems, is a kind of a jockey, and would fain have been doing something for me, but I avoided him, and the more for fear of being troubled thereby with his wife, whom I desire but dare not see, for my vow to my wife. At last went away and did nothing, only concluded upon giving £50 for a fine pair of black horses we saw this day se'nnight; and so set Mr. Dickering (50) down near his house, whom I am much beholden to, for his care herein, and he hath admirable skill, I perceive, in this business, and so home, and spent the evening talking and merry, my mind at good ease, and so to bed.
John Evelyn's Diary 04 April 1672. 04 Apr 1672. I went to see the fopperies of the Papists at Somerset-House and York-House, where now the French Ambassador had caused to be represented our Blessed Savior at the Pascal Supper with his disciples, in figures and puppets made as big as the life, of wax-work, curiously clad and sitting round a large table, the room nobly hung, and shining with innumerable lamps and candles: this was exposed to all the world; all the city came to see it. Such liberty had the Roman Catholics at this time obtained.
John Evelyn's Diary 07 May 1676. 07 May 1676. I spoke to the Duke of York (42) about my Lord Berkeley's (74) going to Nimeguen. Thence, to the Queen's Council at Somerset House, about Mrs. Godolphin's (23) lease of Spalding, in Lincolnshire.
John Evelyn's Diary 08 April 1685. 08 Apr 1685. Being now somewhat compos'd after my greate affliction, I went to London to hear Dr. Tenison (48) (it being on a Wednesday in Lent) at Whitehall. I observ'd that tho' the King (51) was not in his seate above in the chapell, the Doctor made his three congees, which they were not us'd to do when the late King was absent, making then one bowing onely. I ask'd the reason; it was sayd he had a special order so to do. The Princesse of Denmark (34) was in the King's (54) Closet, but sat on the left hand of the chaire, the Clearke of the Closet (50) standing by His Ma*s chaire, as If he had ben present. I met the Queene Dowager (46) going now first from Whitehall to dwell at Somerset-house. This day my brother of Wotton and Mr. Onslow (30) were candidates for Surrey against Sr Adam Brown and my cousin Sr Edwd Evelyn, and were circumvented in their election by a trick of the Sheriff's* taking advantage of my brother's party going out of the small village of Leatherhead to seek shelter and lodging, the afternoone being tempestuous, proceeding to the Election when they were gon; they expecting the next morning; whereas before and then they exceeded the other party by many hundreds, as I am assur'd. The Duke of Norfolk (30) led Sr Edw. Evelyn's and Sr Adam Brown's party. For this Parliament, very meane and slight persons (some of them gentlemen's servants, clearkes, and persons neither of reputation nor interest) were set up, but the country would choose my brother whether he would or no, and he miss'd it by the trick above mentioned. Sr Adam Brown was so deafe that he could not heare one word. S1 Edw. Evelyn was an honest gent much in favour with his Majesty (54).
John Evelyn's Diary 23 January 1686. 23 Jan 1686. I din'd at my Lady Arlington's (52), groome of the stole to the Queene Dowager (47), at Somerset House, where din'd the Countesses of Devonshire (40), Dover (76), &c. in all 11 ladys of quality, no man but myselfe being there.
John Evelyn's Diary 05 December 1686. 05 Dec 1686. I dined at my Lady Arlington's (52), Groom of the Stole to the Queen Dowager (48) at Somerset House, where dined divers French noblemen, driven out of their country by the persecution.
Around 1745. Canaletto Painter 1697-1768 (47). Old Somerset House.
Letters of Horace Walpole 25 Aug 1771 to Earl of Strafford. To STRAFFORD (49), Sunday 25 August 1771
Paris, August 25, 1771.
I HAVE passed my biennial six weeks here, my dear Lord, and am preparing to return as soon as the weather will allow me. It is some comfort to the patriot-virtue, envy, to find this climate worse than our own. There were four very hot days at the end of last month, which you know with us northern people compose a summer: it has rained half this, and for these three days there has been a deluge, a storm, and extreme cold. Yet these folks shiver in silk, and sit with their windows open till suppertime.—Indeed, firing is very dear, and nabobs very scarce. Economy and retrenchment are the words in fashion, and are founded in a little more than caprice. I have heard no instance of luxury but in Mademoiselle Guimard,1 a favourite dancer, who is building a palace:2 round the salle a manger there are windows that open upon hothouses, that are to produce flowers all winter.—That is worthy of . There is a finer dancer whom Mr H[obart]3 is to transplant to London; a Mademoiselle Heinel4 or Ingle, a Fleming. She is tall, perfectly made, very handsome, and has a set of attitudes copied from the classics. She moves as gracefully slow as Pygmalion's statue5 when it was coming to life, and moves her leg round as imperceptibly as if she was dancing in the zodiac.—But she is not Virgo.
They make no more of breaking parliaments here than an English mob does of breaking windows. It is pity people are so ill-sorted. If this king and ours could cross over and figure in, Louis X V would dissolve our Parliament if Polly Jones6 did but say a word to him. They have got into such a habit of it here, that you would think a parliament was a polypus: they cut it in two, and by next morning half of it becomes a whole assembly. This has literally been the case at Besancon7. Lord and Lady Barrymore,8 who are in the highest favour at Compiegne, 9 will be able to carry over the receipt10.
Everybody feels in their own way. My grief is to see the ruinous condition of the palaces and pictures. I was yesterday at the Louvre. Le Brun's11 noble gallery, where the battles of Alexander are, and of which he designed the ceiling, and even the shutters, bolts and locks, is in a worse condition than the old gallery at Somerset House12. It rains in upon the pictures,13 though there are stores of much more valuable pieces than those of Le Brun. Heaps of glorious works by Raphael and all the great masters are piled up and equally neglected at Versailles. Their care is not less destructive in private houses. The Duke of Orléans's (46)14 pictures and the Prince of Monaco's's have been cleaned, and varnished so thick that you may see your face in them; and some of them have been transported from board to cloth, bit by bit, and the seams filled up with colour; so that in ten years they will not be worth sixpence. It makes me as peevish as if I was posterity! I hope your Lordship's works will last longer than these of Louis XIV. The glories of his siecle hasten fast to their end, and little will remain but those of his authors.
I am, my dear Lord,
Your most faithful humble servant,
Note 1. Marie-Madeleine Guimard (1743-1816), m. (1787) Jean-Etienne Despreaux (MAN N vii. 322-3, n. 16).
Note 2. The 'Temple de Terpsychore' in the Rue de la Chausee d'Antin, designed by Ledoux, sold by lottery in 1786 (MAN N vii. 323, n. 18).
Note 4. Anne-Frederique Heinel (1753-1808), born in Bayreuth; made her debut at Stuttgart, 1767, and at Paris, 1768; in London for the opera season 1771-2, 1772-3, 1774, 1776; m. (1792) Gaetano Appolino Baldassare Vestris, the famous dancer (OSSORY i. 66, n. 15).
Note 5. Galatea.
Note 6. Former mistress of Henry, D. of Cumberland (H. Bleackley, Ladies Fair and Frail, 1925, p. 152).
Note 7. The parliament of Besancon was suppressed, 5 Aug., and then reconstituted (MAN N vii. 320, n. 1). Fourteen of the old members reappeared in the new parliament (Mercure historique, 1771, clxxi. 374).
Note. 9. During the summer the Court often removed to Louis XV's chateau at Compiegne, about 45 miles N E of Paris.
Note 10. Perhaps a reference to the financial grants which the officers of the new parliament received. One of the old members was promoted to be first president, with 12,000 livres' salary and 3,000 livres' allowance for lodging (Mercure historique, loc. cit.).
Note 11. Charles Le Brun (1619-90).
Note 12.. The old Somerset House, not yet replaced by Chambers's new structure. 'It was so far neglected as to be permitted to fall to ruin in some of the back parts' (Encyclopedia of London, ed. W . Kent, 1937, p. 587, citing Noorthouck's History of London, 1773). The Royal Academy's schools of design were moved there in 1771 (Kent, loc. cit.). HW's old friend Mrs Grosvenor had been housekeeper there (GRA Y i. 220, n. 17).
Note 13. 24 Aug.: 'Saw the great gallery of Le Brun with battles of Alexander, all the ornaments, ceiling, shutters, and even locks and bolts designed by Le Brun, but so abominably neglected that it rained in' ('Paris Journals,' D U DEFFAN D V. 339)
Note 15. Honore-Camille-Leonor Goyon-de-Matignon de Grimaldi (1720-95), P. of Monaco.
Chapel, Somerset House, Strand, Westminster
John Evelyn's Diary 19 August 1671. 19 Aug 1671. To Council. The letters of Sir Thomas Modiford (51) were read, giving relation of the exploit at Panama, which was very brave; they took, burned, and pillaged the town of vast treasures, but the best of the booty had been shipped off, and lay at anchor in the South Sea, so that, after our men had ranged the country sixty miles about, they went back to Nombre de Dios, and embarked for Jamaica. Such an action had not been done since the famous Drake.
I dined at the Hamburg Resident's, and, after dinner, went to the christening of Sir Samuel Tuke's (56) son, Charles, at Somerset House, by a Popish priest, and many odd ceremonies. The godfathers were the King (41), and Lord Arundel of Wardour (64), and godmother, the Countess of Huntingdon (58). [Note. This must refer to the Dowager Countess of Huntingdon wife of Ferdinando Hastings 6th Earl Huntingdon 1608-1656 (63) since his successor Theophilus Hastings 7th Earl Huntingdon 1650-1701 (20) didn't marry until 1672.].
On 11 Oct 1737 Thomas Drury 1st Baronet Drury 1712-1759 (24) and Martha Tyrrell Lady Drury 1716-1768 (20) were married at Chapel.
Somerset House Stairs, Strand, Westminster
Diary of Samuel Pepys 01 June 1664. 01 Jun 1664. Home at noon, and my little girl got me my dinner, and I presently out by water and landed at Somerset stairs, and thence through Covent Garden, where I met with Mr. Southwell (Sir W. Pen's (43) friend), who tells me the very sad newes of my Lord Tiviott's and nineteen more commission officers being killed at Tangier by the Moores, by an ambush of the enemy upon them, while they were surveying their lines; which is very sad, and, he says, afflicts the King (34) much.